2016 Specifications

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These specifications for cotton bale packaging materials are approved by the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee (JCIBPC)1 for 2016-crop cotton and are intended for use as manufacturing guidelines. These specifications are designed (1) as guidelines for manufacturing and use (2) to improve the quality and protection of the cotton bale and (3) to improve the appearance and marketability of the American cotton bale in domestic and foreign markets. Improper or careless handling, storage and transportation may result in damage to packaging materials.

All bales of cotton packaged and identified in accordance with the testing programs of the JCIBPC are exempt from these provisions.

The mission of the JCIBPC is to "Preserve the quality of U.S. cotton fiber for mill consumption through the development of standards for cotton bales, including safe and environmentally-friendly materials, methods and systems for packaging, handling and tagging."2

The JCIBPC, formed in 1968 at the suggestion of the National Cotton Council of America (NCC) and the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), is composed of two groups.2 One group represents US raw cotton (with sub-groups for producers/ginners, warehousemen, merchants, and cooperatives) and the other group represents US textile manufacturers. The Chairman of the NCC appoints raw cotton committee members after consultation with the Council's certified interest organizations. Starting in 2005, the cotton committee of the National Council of Textile Organizations succeeded ATMI as the primary group responsible for textile manufacturer committee member appointments. The NCC reserves the right to appoint additional textile manufacturer committee members.

The approval, rejection or modification of materials used for cotton bale wrapping requires a majority vote from each of the committee groups. However, any member of a raw cotton sub-group may request a roll call vote, in which case, a majority vote from all sub-groups is required for passage.

Summary of Meeting

The JCIBPC met February 24, 2016, in Memphis, TN, and a second time on June 14, 2016 by conference call / webinar to develop 2016 Specifications. The specifications then underwent an additional examination by the JCIBPC Specification's Review Committee. The revised specifications are identical to the specifications for the previous year's crop except for the following revisions:

  • Removed burlap from the list of approved bale packaging materials by deleting section 2.2.1. Spiral-Sewn Burlap Bags, references to burlap in 3. Official Tare Weights and 4. Certificates of Analysis and Approved List.″
  • Revised tare weight for woven (strapless/wireless) PET Plastic Bagging from 2 lb to 3 lb and added table 3.2. Bag and Tie Codes under 3. OFFICIAL TARE WEIGHTS.


Previous specification changes were discussed by the specifications review subcommittee. The specifications review committee reaffirmed the following policy: bale packaging materials carried over from the previous year, which were eligible for packaging during the 2015-marketing year cotton, may be used to package the current marketing year's cotton.

1 NCC Bale packaging policy, including participation in the JCIBPC, originates in the recommendations of the NCC Packaging and Distribution Program Committee and is approved each year by the NCC Board of Directors and NCC delegates.
2 “Points of Policy Adopted by the JCIBPC” p. 1.